Joint Boards Articulation Commission Annual Report, 1996-1997

Prepared for the Joint Boards of Education
September 19, 1997

Purpose and Introduction

The purpose of this report is to outline the activities of the Joint Boards ArticulationCommission (JBAC) during the past twelve months. This section briefly presentsbackground information regarding the JBAC and the following section describes thespecific JBAC projects and activities.

The JBAC was created by the State Boards of Education and Higher Education in July1992 and recently completed its fifth year of operation. The Commission is comprisedof representatives from the community college, higher education, K-12, andindependent college sectors and was established to "encourage active cooperation andcollaboration among sectors and within systems in order to achieve the most effectiveand efficient articulation possible." Commission members are appointed by eacheducation sector's chief executive officer. The JBAC is specifically charged with:

·         monitoring the implementation and revision of the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer(AA/OT) degree policy and common course numbering for lower division courses; and

·         serving as a forum for problem solving and referral.

The JBAC meets on a monthly basis throughout the academic year to address theissues arising from its charge. In order to maximize the number of topics discussed, avariety of concerns are also addressed by the JBAC's standing and ad hoc committees.During the 1996-1997 academic year, the Student Transfer Committee and the OSSHESolution Team on Access/Transfer/Community Colleges were the active groupsworking in tandem with the JBAC on relevant issues.

JBAC Projects and Activities

During the last year, the JBAC completed or made significant progress on the followingprojects:

Alignment Guiding Principles

At the most recent meeting of the Joint Boards of Education (November 1996), the"Alignment Guiding Principles" were adopted (See Appendix); this document outlined acommonly agreed-upon set of implications for practice with respect to simultaneouslyimplementing the proficiency systems under development in the state: CIM, CAM,PASS, and PREP. In developing these principles an intersector team, working underthe auspices of the JBAC, held a series of discussion sessions in order to develop theappropriate language to clarify the relationships and implementation strategies of theproficiency systems. Documents currently under development (as well as in recentrelease to the public) that describe the implementation of the proficiency systems reflectthese guiding principles. The Governor and Superintendent's School TransformationAdvisory Committee (STAC) and a variety of work groups (e.g. an interagencyImplementation Team, ODE , COSA, OSBE, OEA, etc.) have all been involved inproducing materials to assist external audiences in their understanding of this work.

Articulation Hotline List and JBAC Web Page

One of the issues that the JBAC focused on during its 1996-1997 deliberations wascommunicating with our various "publics" and facilitating, where possible, thedissemination of information regarding transfer and articulation. Toward this end, twoprojects were undertaken and completed. First, the "Articulation Hotline List" wasrefined and updated. This document provides a list of names, addresses, and phonenumbers of individuals at OSSHE institutions, community colleges, and independentinstitutions who have responsibility for handling both policy questions and day-to-dayissues related to transfer and articulation. This list was widely distributed to appropriatestaff members on OSSHE, community college, and independent college campuses.Second, the JBAC sponsored the development of a new web site devoted to transferstudents and their issues; the web address is features of the site include: (1) three main sections, depending on one'srelationship to and interest in transfer issues (student; counselor or advisor;administrator or policymaker); (2) the most up-to-date version of the Articulation HotlineList; (3) information for transfer students who are encountering problems (names ofOSSHE or OCCS staff who may be contacted); (4) links to the OSSHE institutions'home page sections and their course equivalency tables; (5) links to all the Oregoncommunity college home pages; (6) information about the Associate of Arts OregonTransfer (AA/OT) degree; and (7) important JBAC documents such as the currentversion of the Workplan, membership list, and meeting minutes.

Communicating with Campus Representatives Regarding the AA/OT Degree

As mentioned above, the JBAC appoints and works with various standing and ad hocgroups; one of the most active of these is the Student Transfer Committee (STC) hasbeen charged by the JBAC with soliciting specific examples of student transferproblems and working toward policy recommendations which the JBAC may wish toendorse. During the past academic year, the STC, in turn, appointed a task force toexamine current implementation of the AA/OT degree (in response to reports reachingthe JBAC regarding concerns with current practice). The task force re-visited theoriginal purpose and intents of the transfer degree, and, recognizing the high level ofstaff turnover in some admissions and other administrative offices, examined how thedegree is being interpreted (at the point of transfer-student transcript evaluations) insome instances. The task force recommended that the chair of the JBAC send out awidely-distributed letter which would re-state and clarify information about the AA/OT,remind campuses about its specific purpose, and steer implementation of the transferdegree back in the right direction if it had gone off course (See Appendix). The JBAChas received word from some campuses that it has had the desired effect in making theAA/OT more consistently interpreted.

Work of the Student Transfer Committee

The STC has deliberated upon a number of other topics during the year as well. Amongthe issues addressed were:

·         Professional-technical course numbering. The recent changes in the numbering ofprofessional-technical courses at community colleges (from a decimal numberingsystem to an alpha-numeric one) has led to periodic confusion on the part of OSSHEinstitutions about which courses are transfer courses and which are not. This is anincreasingly complex problem that is exacerbated when the community colleges andOSSHE institutions are not in communication about the changes taking place. Also partof this discussion is the inclusion of professional-technical courses in the AA/OT, andthe reluctance of some OSSHE institutions to accept these credits, even as part of theAA/OT. The key to resolving these issues appears to revolve around effectivecommunication between community colleges and OSSHE institutions, and the JBAChas been examining strategies to enhance such communication.

·         Implications of increasing course credit hours to 4 and 5 credits. OSSHEinstitutions have been moving toward a preference for courses that are four and fivecredits, rather than the traditional three credits. This move has obvious implications fortransfer students since three credit courses are still the norm at community colleges.Are transfer students being disadvantaged in some way? The investigation by the STCindicates that this does not seem to be a problem at this time, though the JBACcontinues to monitor the issue.

·         Issues with respect to electronic student advising, student file transfer foradmission, degree audits, and transcript transfer. Interest is high in Oregon'spostsecondary institutions to work toward an integrated, electronic system fortransmitting a variety of types of student data. One major obstacle to implementing thisis the current upgrading of the Banner software as well as being able to successfullyaddress security concerns. A related problem is software incompatibility as only a fewcommunity colleges use the software (Banner) the OSSHE institutions have adopted. This matter remains as part of the ongoing Workplan of the JBAC and merits continuingexamination.

·         Intersector data exchange protocol and other research. It has become possibleover the last few years, through the concerted efforts of OSSHE and OCCS datacollection experts, to be able to track students through the two systems ofpostsecondary education in the state. For example, it is now possible to know howmany students from which community college subsequently enroll in individual OSSHEinstitutions. Conversely, it is also possible to track students in a "reverse transfer"mode, i.e., OSSHE students/graduates who attend Oregon community colleges. Asdata exchange techniques and software technology evolve, it will be increasinglypossible to gauge and describe the college-attendance trends of individuals enrolled inthe two systems.

Some data about attendance patterns of students are already available. The JBACreceived a report during this last year from a Portland State University professor doingresearch in this area. In this project, individual academic transcripts from studentsenrolled in Portland metropolitan-area institutions were analyzed. The findings from thisstudy demonstrated a whole host of non-linear attendance patterns for students in themetro area who, in effect, utilized the three community colleges and the one universityas a "system"-e.g., by engaging in dual enrollment practices and/or moving from oneinstitution to another and back again. All in all, seven "dominant patterns" wereidentified for the 504 students in the sample, but overall 74 enrollment patterns wereexhibited.

The JBAC continues to examine -- and advocate for -- enhanced OSSHE-communitycollege data exchange efforts.

Work of the OSSHE Solution Team on Access/Transfer/Community Colleges

In the fall of 1995, OSSHE embarked on a three-stage strategic planning process. Inthe third phase, seventeen "solution teams" were established to make policyrecommendations in various areas. The team focusing on "access, transfer, andcommunity colleges" was led by Martha Anne Dow, Provost at Oregon Institute ofTechnology, and Roy Arnold, Provost at Oregon State University. Since the charge ofthis solution team was aligned with the ongoing work of the JBAC (and the membershiphad great overlap), the JBAC and solution team became affiliated (with the "adoption"of the solution team as an ad hoc committee of the JBAC). Since the relationship ofthese two groups was established in the fall of 1996, each has made regular reports tothe other with regard to issues explored and progress made. Some of the broad topicareas that the solution team has addressed are (1) credit acceptance (e.g., credit forprior learning), (2) student access, (3) transfer, (4) communications, and (5)comprehensive/collaborative student services. The solution team report to the Board ofHigher Education revolves around these five major themes.

JBAC Workplan for 1997-1998

The JBAC approaches its work by identifying issues arising from its charge andincorporating those issues into the Workplan for the group. The Workplan is a dynamicdocument with items continually being added and priorities assigned/reassigned. Thelatest version of the JBAC Workplan, which will provide general guidance during the1997-1998 academic year is attached. The newest items to the Workplan arise inresponse to HB 2387 and SB 919 of the 1997 session of the Legislative Assembly. HB2387 calls for an intersector report on progress made in addressing student transferand articulation efforts. Unless the report and subsequent plan are approved by the1999 legislature, a plan for transfer-course approval is to be implemented as describedin the bill. The most important task the JBAC will undertake in the coming year, pendingJoint Boards approval of the incorporation of this item in the Workplan, is theproduction of a report for the 1999 legislature. The JBAC seeks approval of this Workplan to guide its work in the coming year.


The Workplan of the JBAC reflects the many issues arising from its charge and thisreport has outlined the activities of the JBAC in the past year. The JBAC continues tobe an important and active group which is always available to address the concernssurrounding student transfer and articulation.

Staff Recommendation to the Joint Boards

The Joint Boards Articulation Commission recommends that the Joint Boards adopt the1997-1998 JBAC Workplan as the primary document to guide the JBAC in itsdeliberations during the coming year.


Alignment Guiding Principles

JBAC Workplan

AA/OT Letter from Jon Carnahan

Web Page copy

JBAC Accomplishments

Return to JBAC Home Page

Joint Boards Articulation Commission Page by Jim Arnold, Director of Community College Articulation, Oregon State System of Higher Education

Send mail to Joint Boards Articulation Commisson

Revised: December 10, 1997